Beirut Likely to Bypass Bletchingly Stakes 2016

Caulfield’s Henry Dwyer is likely to save his flying mare Beirut for Saturday week’s Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington instead of running her in the 2016 Bletchingly Stakes this weekend.


Beirut is likely to bypass the 2016 Bletchingly Stakes in favour of a run Saturday week at either Flemington or Morphettville. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The in-form Lonhro five-year-old has won her past four on the trot, most recently defeating Nadeem Lass by a half-length in a Mares Handicap over 1200m at Caulfield on July 16.

She is nominated for a two week turnaround into the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) back at the track this Saturday, but is an unlikely acceptor for the weight-for-age sprint or for the Fillies and Mares Handicap over the same track and distance she is also entered for.

On Monday the Bletchingly Stakes attracted 14 early entries, Racing Victoria extending the nominations until 10:00am (AEST) on Tuesday morning.

Dwyer though believes there will be too much speed on in the race for his front-running mare and is more likely to keep her for an August 6 run down the Flemington straight in the $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).

“There’s just a bit too much speed in there to warrant going there. We might wait for the Aurie’s Star on Saturday week,” Dwyer told AAP.

Despite her stellar recent string of winning form, Beirut is yet to win in stakes’ company and has been kept to non-Black Type company in her 29 career starts to date.

Getting her to the winners’ circle in Listed or Group company then is the primary aim according to Dwyer before she heads to stud after her next run.

“The aim is to get some black type. There’s either the Aurie’s Star or there’s a race in Adelaide, the Spring Stakes,” he said.

“One of those two will be the go, I would say.”

Also run on August 6, the $120,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) takes place at Morphettville Racecourse.

Beirut has had a long campaign going back to early March and Dwyer said he’d kept her fresh with work on the water walker.

“She’s been up a long time now,” he said.

“She’s given a few indications she might be coming to the end of it so just in a last-ditch attempt to get one more good run out of her, we’ve tried to keep her as fresh as we can.”

A host of notable sprinters are nominated for the Bletchingly Stakes this winter including the reigning winner Smokin’ Joey who along with the Peter Gelagotis-trained eight-year-old The Cleaner is the oldest horse in the mix.

The Cleaner was a surprise nominee having originally been earmarked for a first-up run and maiden start for Gelagotis after his transfer from the Tasmanian stables of Mick Burles in next month’s $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on August 13.

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